O presidente Ikeda observa: "É absolutamente impossível que alguém com uma conduta séria e sincera na fé não consiga ser feliz e prosperar ou que seu ambiente não consiga ser revitalizado. Este é o princípio universal do budismo. O coração é o que transforma tudo. Esta é a natureza prodigiosa da vida. É uma verdade irrefutável". Nam-myoho-rengue-kyo Nam-myoho-rengue-kyo Nam-myoho-rengue-kyo....
24 de dezembro de 2008
Soka Gakkai's position on article
READERS IN COUNCIL
Soka Gakkai's position on article
By HIROTSUGU TERASAKI
Executive Director,Soka Gakkai International Office of Public Information Tokyo
Unfortunately, there were a number of errors in the Dec. 2 FYI article "Soka Gakkai keeps religious, political machine humming." As I was interviewed for this article on Nov. 21, I would like to make several points in response.
First, while the Soka Schools and Soka University were founded by Soka Gakkai Honorary President Daisaku Ikeda, they are independent school corporations and not owned by Soka Gakkai. No religious education is offered at these institutions, which are open to all.
To respond to the suggestion that the relationship between Soka Gakkai and the New Komeito party violates the separation of church and state, the two bodies are separate and the party makes its own decisions on all matters including personnel and policy. Soka Gakkai, as the party's main endorsing body, exchanges views with New Komeito, but has never been accorded any form of special privilege or status as a result of New Komeito's political influence.
Government officials from prime ministers to successive chiefs of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau have repeatedly clarified that the aim of Article 20 of the Japanese Constitution is to protect the religious neutrality of the state and not the political neutrality of religious groups, which have the right to participate in the political process.
There was also a reference to spurious charges brought against Mr. Ikeda by Nobuko Nobuhira and her husband in 1996. These allegations were taken up by the tabloid media and extensively utilized by political opponents of the then Komeito party, hoping to alienate potential supporters by discrediting Soka Gakkai. The allegations have been conclusively disproved in court.
The May 30, 2000, judgment of the Tokyo District Court under Chief Judge Shintaro Kato states that after thorough investigation, the court found "no factual evidence" to support the couple's claims. The judgment concludes: "The Plaintiff [Nobuhira]'s conduct during the course of this trial, including unreasonable changes of claims . . . is extremely unnatural, not in accordance with those of one who genuinely seeks redress for damages, and entirely against good faith."
It finds: ". . . there is no reason why the Defendant [Mr. Ikeda] should have to suffer pointless media coverage of groundless and scandal-mongering accusations such as this." In an exceptionally rare ruling, the civil lawsuit was dismissed as an "abuse of the right of action." In June 2006, the Supreme Court supported the lower court's decision and the case was closed.
Last, critics claim that Soka Gakkai is effectively preventing negative media coverage by paying major newspaper publishers for printing its daily newspaper Seikyo Shimbun on their presses. The newspaper is printed by many companies in order to achieve efficiency in distribution throughout Japan and avoid the burden of excessive cost that would be incurred if Soka Gakkai had its own printing presses.
Editor's note: The Japan Times apologizes for inappropriate descriptions in the FYI article on Soka Gakkai on Page 3 of the Dec. 2 issue (Dec. 3 in some areas) in reference to the 1996 civil suit against the group's honorary president, Daisaku Ikeda.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer's own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.